Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's first casino? Some would like to give it a spin, while others say 'hold'

Plans for Northern Ireland's first casino have opened a fresh debate on our strict gambling laws. Harriet Crawford took to the streets of Belfast and found opinion divided.

Jerry Curneen (62), a teacher, said: "If someone wants to gamble, let them – providing the casino is well policed and isn't a big, obvious gambling joint, but a discreet place for people to go. I'm happy for people to have freedom to gamble but I think it will face major problems from City Hall."

Kathy Gilliland (51), unemployed, said: "I wouldn't like it. I think that there are enough people who are in debt and betting. Just because other places have them, doesn't mean we should."

Laura O'Neill (27), shop assistant, said: "There are upsides and downsides – you never know unless it is tried. So I say go for it."

Dorothea Mawhinney (61), a church organist and choir director, said: "I think it would bring in a lot of extra revenue. It would bring visitors and tourists who would spend their money there. Even though it is not the most constructive way to spend your money, that is their choice. The vast majority of people can probably handle a casino sensibly.

Margaux Boue (25) works in public relations, said: "I would not be happy for a casino to come to Belfast, because of the profit the companies make."

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